Yesterday I met up with two friends of mine, Anne and Sue, to visit some old quarry workings, friends who I first met through the internet photo-sharing website flickr back in the days when the site was more interactive than it is now. We first met at flickr meets, Anne at Blaenavon in 2008 and Sue at Margam Park a year or two later, we got on well together and have met up now and again about once a year for a photography day, although we communicate regularly via another social media site.
Anne had suggested we visit the Llangattock escarpment to see the old quarry workings and walk the ancient tramways so I had a look on the National Library of Scotland website to consult the old 6″ maps of the area to remind myself of the historic past of the vicinity. The first thing I noticed was the spelling of the name as Llangattwg, this appears on the 1888 and the 1905 version of the maps but by the 1948 edition (published 1953) the spelling has been changed to Llangattock, a name which is used on the modern maps although both variants are shown on the village signs, the Welsh with a single T, Llangatwg.
It was forecast to be a fine day and we arrived at the car park mid morning, the sun was shining on the valley and mountains opposite where we parked the car, but the escarpment side was in cloud which hung around persistently for most of our walk, annoyingly. However it didn’t stop us from having a good explore and natter on our journey along some of the ancient tramways.
I had decided not to take my tripod, the weather forecast was bright enough not to need it but took along my screw-on bean bag just in case. This soon came in useful as I started to look at different shots in the area and when I came across this derelict lime kiln just had to photograph the inside. The kiln itself isn’t shown on the first two 6″ maps of the area but is seen on the 1948 version so a build date between 1905 and 1948 is to be assumed, certainly bricks lying around would seem to suggest that period. Here’s the interior of the kiln taken by resting the bean bag on a pile of rubble by the entrance, illumination is by natural light.
Later on I caught Anne peering down a crevice in the rocks with her camera so bided my time until she’d finished to see what she had found so fascinating, this is the result, no doubt part of the massive cave system in the hills around this area. To get some sense of scale the camera is on the floor and I have the lens set at 17mm, if I was younger and so inclined that gap could have been wriggled through. Just love the colours, although I have cropped some of the image to remove the very out-of-focus and blown-out sections from the foreground and right side.
Whilst photographing this scene Sue and Anne were calling me to go and look at another cave which, when I saw it, remembered I had been in before. Well, it had to be done didn’t it? There was a bit of a drop down into the cave which I’d worry about when I had to come out and, using natural light from the entrance, I took a few shots from various places a few metres inside. This is probably the best of the few.
The internet is a good place to look for places to eat and I had sourced two inns that had a good review for great food at a reasonable cost – well that didn’t work, neither of them were still trading so we lunched at a pub overlooking the river at Crickhowell. Suitably fed and watered, thanks to Sue and Anne, we then visited another quarry on our way home, I’d seen it on Google Earth and wanted to take a look. Sadly it was just a vast barren hole in the ground completely fenced-off but there were some stunning views from the mountainside.